George Enescu Festival
J. HAYDN Symphony No. 31 (Horn Signal)
L. JANÁČEK Capriccio for piano left hand and ensemble
I. STRAVINSKY Octet for winds
D. SHOSTAKOVICH Piano Concerto No. 2
Yuja Wang piano & director
Matthew Truscott concertmaster & leader
ABOUT THIS CONCERT
Alternating self-directed ensemble works with those that centre around the piano, this concert reunites the MCO with sensational pianist Yuja Wang as part of an extended European tour.
Haydn's "Horn Signal" symphony opens each programme, a commanding showcase directed from within the orchestra by MCO Concertmaster Matthew Truscott. Such an approach is not only historically informed; some scholars believe this is how Haydn himself, a violinist, would have led the first performance at Schloss Esterhazy, where this tour concludes. But it is also done to celebrate the agility, responsiveness and self-determination of the ensemble. And on a smaller scale this is also true of Stravinsky's Octet, where the winds guide themselves alone to mark half a century since the composer's death.
The centre of this programme is formed of works for solo piano and ensemble. Whether Janáček's Capriccio or Shostakovich's Piano Concerto No. 2, which closes the performance, these pieces highlight the individual and unmistakable strengths of Yuja Wang's piano playing. While her talent has usually leads her to work alongside the world's most celebrated conductors, it was with this orchestra that Wang first took the lead for herself in 2017, an experience she repeats here for the MCO's return to Romania's premiere classical music event.